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Kia, Hyundai asked to recall 2.9 million vehicles in US over fire risk

The Center for Auto Safety said Oct. 12 that it is asking Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.'s U.S. arms to recall around 2.9 million vehicles after more than 220 consumer complaints have been submitted on these vehicles over noncollision fires.

The Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group is demanding the recall of all 2011-2014 editions of the Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as 2010-2015 editions of the Kia Soul.

Consumers have reported more than 220 noncollision fires incidents in these cars to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Center for Auto Safety. The center said it learned of 103 additional fire reports between June 12 and Oct. 12.

"Since our call for an investigation into these Kia and Hyundai noncollision fires, we have seen reports of almost one fire every single day across these five models," said Center for Auto Safety executive director Jason Levine. "The number and severity of these complaints, when people are simply driving their cars on the highway, is frightening. It is long past time for Kia and Hyundai to act."

The organization said it was presented with at least 12 instances where consumers had an engine-related recall performed but the car would still later catch fire.

There have been reports of these fires from across the country, including a death in Ohio in April 2017, the Center for Auto Safety said.